Minister for Energy, John-Peter Amewu says there is the need to harness the abundant discoverable gas resources, as the country gears towards industrialization to ensure cheaper electricity.
According to him, the government is supporting investment towards the development of the country’s gas infrastructure to ensure significant shift from oil-based power generation to gas based power generation.
Mr. Amewu intimated this in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy, Lawrence Apaalse, at the second day of the Ghana Economic Forum with focus on the energy sector.
The Energy Minister then revealed that, steps have also been taken to invest in nuclear power, as part of a long-term plan to ensure cheaper and cleaner energy source to support the country’s commitment towards the combat against climate change adding that, Ghana has included nuclear power in the energy generation mix and has initiated the process for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the country.
“We have fulfilled the conditions of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Owner Operator of the first nuclear power plant, Nuclear Power Ghana has also been established and currently in the process of identifying a suitable site, as well as an investor country for the construction of the first nuclear power plant.”
Touching on the renewable sub-sector, Mr Amewu said the government realised that the previous administration signed Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to the tune of 2,265 Megawatts (MW), with an average price of 19 Cents per Kilowatts-hour (KWh) but has however reduced the capacities from 2,265MW to 515MW, which can be accommodated within the country’s electricity network.
“We have also re-negotiated and reduced the price per Kilowatts-hours (KWh) from an average of 19 Cents per KWh to 12 Cents per KWh. Our ultimate goal at the Ministry is to achieve tariffs below 10 Cents per KWh, for which reason we are further engaging with scheduled PPAs. Other actions we have taken include developing a Renewable Energy Master Plan which clearly provides the capacity and investment required on yearly basis.”
Touching on steps the current administration has taken upon assumption of office, Mr Amewu said since 2017, the Ministry has ensured significant investments in the transmission network.
“These include upgrading the transmission lines in the Bono regions, high grid upgrade systems which are currently being extended from Tamale to Burkina Faso. GRIDCo is undertaking this with just a short stretch left to be complete.”
He added that just about a month ago, the President approved US$130 million grant for ECG to replace the obsolete equipment, which changes are ongoing adding that they are introducing the Variable Injection Timing (VIT) Systems to forestall complete shutdown of area lines in case of local power problems.
In the area of power contracts, Mr Amewu said the government has successfully renegotiated the price of some power agreements downwards and has reduced capacity charges by over 30 percent, stressing that negotiations are still underway for the remaining power agreements.
He then revealed that, in addition to the long existing power export to Togo-Benin (120 MW) and the exchange arrangement between Ghana and La Cote d’Ivoire, the completion of the 225 kV Ghana-Burkina Faso Interconnection Project, is allowing the export of 140MW of power to Burkina Faso, making a total of 260MW export to our neighbours.
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